Apr 142013
 
Golden delicious smashie-tatoes!

Golden delicious smashie-tatoes!

So I’m an Irish(-American) girl. And we Irish girls, we have a bit of culinary baggage:

When it comes to potatoes, we cannot. get. enough.

Mashed, baked, roasted, cooked in duck fat (what a surprise, said no one ever), really, it doesn’t matter. I’m probably gonna love it (excepting most French fries, actually: most of them are such poor quality that they are borrrrr-ing!). On nights that we make potatoes, The Hubs often has to remind me that my Irish is showing. “Whatevs,” I think to myself. “My gramdma would be proud!”

Smash!

Smash!

When I had to put the kibosh on dairy, I was a little sad because was imagining a Thanksgiving without mashed potatoes. That is perhaps my most favorite of all potato preparations and is by far the one I make the least often (see previous statement of cannot.get.enough. This leads to an inevitable tummy-ache). But then, I discovered this little gem: it’s less of a recipe and more of a cause for you to smack yourself in the forehead and wonder why the hell you didn’t think of doing this yourself.

True story.

Smashed and seasoned, ready for baking

Smashed and seasoned, ready for baking

What’s so great about these little taters? Only everything ever. They’re mashed, giving that great texture experience, and they are crispy, which is in compliance with My Number One Rule In The Kitchen (if you can toast it, do it!). They are portable (I defy you to resist eating one or more directly off the roasting pan). They are the easiest potato recipe ever. They are dairy-free! And oh yes, lest we forget, they are flippin’ delicious. EVERYONE WINS HERE! Except the potato, which is, in fact, eaten.

So what are you waiting for??? Go forth and cook potatoes! Serve them with anything and everything and watch how happy they make everyone who comes in contact with them. Or, y’know, if you’re an Irish girl like me, they may not make it beyond your own sticky potato-fingers. Hey, don’t look at me like that: in this war of ‘tatoes, everyone’s got to fend for themselves!

Golden delicious smashie-tatoes!

Golden delicious smashie-tatoes!

Smashie ‘Tatoes
From The Pioneer Woman
Servings vary

This is not so much a recipe as a method (which can be summarized as boil, smash, season, and bake). Use quantities appropriate to the number of people you’re serving (and may I suggest a portion of 4oz of potatoes per person?).
There are a zillion different varieties of potato that you can use in this recipe. Stick with small waxy types, such as red bliss or yukon gold, and avoid starchy potatoes like the russet. Personally, I find that purple potatoes, while very tasty, don’t do as well in this recipe as others, and golden potatoes do best of all, as they are the most flavorful and the best-textured. I prefer to stick with round specimens rather than fingerlings too. That said, I just said above that this text is more of a guideline than a recipe, so you should of course feel free to tell me to shove off and then use whatever potato you damn well please.
About three quarts water
Several small waxy potatoes, washed and scrubbed
Olive oil
A couple of tablespoons of rosemary (or substitute your favorite herb), minced
Sea salt, to taste
Fill a large saucepan with water and place the potatoes inside. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, and then lower the heat so that the water maintains a vigorous simmer or gentle boil. Cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes, depending on the size and variety of your potatoes. When done, remove them from the water and drain. Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle them without burning yourself.
While the potatoes are boiling, pre-heat the oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Brush the foil with olive oil.
Arrange the potatoes on the baking sheet so that there is plenty of room between them. Arm thyself with a potato masher and press straight down on one of the potatoes, until it is about 1/2″-3/4″ thick. Lift up the masher, rotate it 90-degrees, and mash again. Clean off the arms of the masher in between mashes, letting the stray bits fall back onto the potato from whence it came. Repeat this with all of your potatoes until they’ve all been mashed in this way.
Brush the potatoes with a bit more olive oil. A little will help them brown; too much and it will impede browning. So just apply until it looks right. Sprinkle the potatoes with rosemary and salt.
Put the potatoes in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until they are delightfully crispy and golden-brown. Serve immediately.

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